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Being a board member for an organization can be an impressive addition to your resume, highlighting extra skills that are not reflected in your work experience. Like every addition to your resume, however, take care to only add relevant information, and to keep each addition as concise as possible.
Use Relevant Information
While a board membership can certainly add value to your resume, you only have limited space -- especially if an employer restricts resumes to one or two pages. Thus, ask yourself whether that board membership is relevant to the job for which you're applying. If it's related to your career field, it can certainly be relevant. Likewise, if the job requires leadership or planning skills, or the company values civic involvement, adding that board membership can be a good thing. On the other hand, adding board memberships that aren't relevant to the industry or the job skills in question might make the employer think you're padding your resume with too much fluff.
Create a Section Title
If you've been on the board of more than one organization -- and the experience is something that's really important for the job -- add a section to your resume titled "Board Memberships." If you've only been a board member of one organization but you've been involved with other organizations as an association member or participant, you could instead create a section titled "Memberships" that lists both your board membership as well as your association memberships. A single board membership could also fall under a title such as "Volunteering" or "Community Leadership," along with any other volunteering or community projects with which you've been involved.
Format Board Memberships
Place the section that includes your board membership somewhere after your "Work Experience" and "Education" sections. If board membership is really relevant and important, list it directly after the work section, to be sure the employer notices it. Format each membership by typing the name of the organization, followed by your title, such as Chairman of the Board or Board Member, for example. Add a period and then type the years you were involved. If you've held different board positions within an organization, type the most recent one on the first line, and then type your past positions in reverse chronological order on subsequent lines. For example, type "X Charity, Chairman of the Board. 2014-present." On the next line, indent to line up the title with the title above, and type "Board Treasurer. 2012-2104."
Describe Your Experience
If the duties are relevant, you can also type a brief one-line description of what you did in that board position, directly following the years you did that job, in a similar fashion as you did when you described your work experience. You can also mention any accomplishments, such as helping a nonprofit increase revenues or membership.
If your board experience is highly relevant to the job, you can also elaborate upon it in the cover letter, thus further highlighting relevant skills you've learned. For example, you might use your cover letter to talk about how your board membership helped you learn how to run meetings efficiently, and how that's going to help you be a good meeting coordinator in the new position.
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Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.